Social inequalities have shown no sign of receding in Canada or worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the persistence of deep-seated inequalities along racialized and gendered lines. Meanwhile, the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement for racial justice has called into question the weight that power and privilege continue to hold in our society. 

Although policymakers continue to attempt to address the many dimensions of inequality, economic, racial and gendered disparities remain. Worse yet, public policy decisions have, in many cases, been complicit in the perpetuation of social inequalities.  

This in-person conversation between Debra Thompson, associate professor of political science at McGill University and the host of the IRPP’s In/Equality podcast, and Joe Soss, the Cowles Chair for the Study of Public Service at the University of Minnesota, addressed these concerns head-on, considering the intersection of public policy and social inequality. 

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Debra Thompson
Dr. Debra Thompson is the Canada Research Chair in Racial Inequality in Democratic Societies at McGill University and a leading scholar of the comparative politics of race.
Joe Soss
Joe Soss is the inaugural Cowles Chair for the Study of Public Service at the University of Minnesota. His research and teaching explore the interplay of democratic politics, societal inequalities, and public policy. He is particularly interested in the political sources and consequences of policies that govern social marginality and shape life conditions for socially marginal groups. His coauthored book, Disciplining the Poor: Neoliberal Paternalism and the Persistent Power of Race (2011), was selected for several awards.  
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